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  • New COVID-19 County Health Equity Requirement Begins Tomorrow

    By  CalChamber  - October 5, 2020

    Blueprint for a Safer EconomyIn an effort to reduce COVID-19 transmission across all of California’s communities, starting tomorrow, October 6, 2020, the more populous counties will need to meet a health equity metric in order to further open their economies.

    To advance to the next less restrictive tier in the state’s COVID-19 Tier Framework, a county, depending on its size, will need to meet an equity metric and/or show plans for targeted investments to eliminate neighborhood disparities in levels of COVID-19 transmission. Those investments can include spending on augmenting testing, disease investigation, contact tracing, isolation/quarantine support, and education and outreach efforts for workers.

    The health equity metric will apply to the 35 counties with populations greater than 106,000. The remaining 23 counties are excluded from meeting the equity metric, but must demonstrate the targeted investments.

    The details of the new health equity requirement can be found in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy: Covid-19 and Equity guidance.

    Focus on Equity

    According to information gathered by public health officials, the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on certain communities—such as low-income, Black, Latino, Pacific Islander, and essential workers—reflected in higher rates of COVID-19 infection, hospitalizations, and deaths. These disparities, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) states, create a public health imperative to address exposure in all communities, including especially those disproportionately affected, as a means to protect all communities.

    The Blueprint for a Safer Economy relies on two measures—case rate and test positivity—to determine when a county can move to a less restrictive tier with more sector openings and resultant increased interaction among residents. In order to avoid a surge of infections, the level of baseline infection in a community should be progressively lower as there is more movement and mixing.  Read More